Chaplains Share Duties in Afghanistan

On an August evening in Afghanistan, the Rev. Mirek Jordanek, a Czech army chaplain, celebrated Mass in his limited English. A Protestant chaplain preached the homily at the weekend Mass. “One day, we will see him face to face,” said the Rev. Brent Sanders, the Protestant chaplain. “Let us be ready.” It is a fitting message for the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division. At least 14 soldiers have been killed in action since January, four of them in the last two weeks of July. Where once only 10 of the faithful attended Catholic Mass, their numbers have grown to at least 30 regular attendees. Although one out of five U.S. soldiers is Catholic, there are just 100 Catholic chaplains for the entire U.S. Army. “We are very short,” said the Rev. Bradley West, a Baptist assigned to the 10th Mountain Division. “Especially when we deploy, many soldiers will not see a priest the whole time, especially the guys out at command outposts,” he said.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Greg Hicks as "Richard III" (photo: Alex Brenner)
It would be fascinating were the producers able to arrange a quick transfer to a venue somewhere near the White House.
David StewartMay 26, 2017
In the hyper-curated, beautiful world that Dev lives in, a scene that conveys the touching, ugly stubbornness of marriage seems totally impossible.
Eloise BlondiauMay 26, 2017
This image released by the Minya governorate media office shows bodies of victims killed when gunmen stormed a bus in Minya, Egypt, Friday, May 26, 2017 (Minya Governorate Media office via AP).
The attack in central Egypt today killed at least 26 people, including children aged 2 to 4, and wounded 25 others.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 26, 2017
The data and facts are clear: If you care about working families and sound economic policy, SNAP is the program for you.
Meghan J. ClarkMay 26, 2017